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Program Summary: Child Development Associate Degree Program

Majors Overview April 9, 2013

Programs in child development education include the study of the behavioral, language, emotional, and physical development of school-aged children, toddlers, and infants. Designed for future child care educators and workers, this degree program last for two years and includes a practicum where students gain hands-on experience working with children of various educational needs and ages. Students who have graduated from this program will earn credentials from the Council for Professional Recognition’s Child Development Associate.

Child Development Associate Degree Program

The associate degree program curriculum prepares students for entrance into an early childhood development bachelor degree program or entry-level careers, and it is designed with standards by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Studies in this child development program explore the emotional and physical growth of children from birth to adolescence, including a survey of family dynamics, child nutrition, and behavior.

The curriculum prepares students to utilize creative arts to foster learning and design age-appropriate academic plans. Typically, an associate degree program culminates in a child development practicum where students work with children in an educational environment. Students who want to be admitted into the program must earn either a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma; aspiring students are required to submit to a child abuse screening and criminal background check before being admitted into the practicum phase of the program.

Program Course Topics

The program coursework prepares students to work with school-aged children, toddler, and infant through studies in assessment, special needs, language development, and much more. Typically, topics of discussion involve:

•Behavior management
•Exceptional children
•Cognitive development
•Child development theories
•Child safety

Career Options

Students who have graduated from an associate degree program in child development will be prepared to work with children in environments such as pre-schools, child enrichment centers, day cares, and much more. Graduates may earn the job titles below:

•Daycare provider
•Head start teacher
•Preschool teacher
•Teaching assistant

Certification Information

Individuals who want to advance in this field have the option of obtaining a voluntary certification. The CDA National Credentialing Program of the Council for Professional Recognition offers the Child Development Associate (CDA) credentials that graduates can obtain. The Child Development Associations may obtain the Home Visitor, Family Child Care, or Center-Based endorsements. CDA certification requires 480 hours of experience working with a lead teacher assessment, parent opinion questionnaires, a professional resource file, and children.

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